SO I woke up this morning very early and did the usual Facebook and Twitter read in bed and there it was … The CCIE Datacenter track has officially be announced.

More information can be found on the website of Cisco itself of course.

To summarize,:

  • the Written CCIE Datacenter exam will have exam number 350-080
  • the Written CCIE Datacenter exam will be available starting from the 3rd of September 2012
  • the blueprints for the Written and the Lab exam (last modified the 19th of March 2012) can be found below
  • there is no date available yet for the Lab Exam today (20-03-2012)
  • the equipment list is also know and can be found below (20-03-2012)

Reading List (20-03-2012)

Data Center Fundamentals (ISBN-10: 1-58705-023-4)
NX-OS and Cisco Nexus Switching (ISBN-10: 1-58705-892-8)
Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) (ISBN-10: 1-58714-193-0)
I/O Consolidation in the Data Center (ISBN-10: 1-58705-888-X)
Storage Networking Fundamentals (ISBN-10: 1-58705-162-1)

CCIE Data Center Lab Equipment List (790)<–click for the PDF

Passing the lab exam requires a depth of understanding difficult to obtain without hands-on experience. Early in your preparation you should arrange access to equipment similar to that used on the exam, and listed below.

The lab exam tests any feature that can be configured on the equipment and the NXOS versions indicated below. Occasionally, you may see more recent NXOS versions installed in the lab, but you will not be tested on the new features of a release unless indicated below.

  • Cisco Catalyst Switch 3750
  • Cisco 2511 Terminal Server
  • MDS 9222i
  • Nexus7009
    • (1) Sup
    • (1) 32 Port 10Gb (F1 Module)
    • (1) 32 Port 10Gb (M1 Module)
  • Nexus5548
  • Nexus2232
  • Nexus 1000v
  • UCS C200 Series Server
    • vic card for c-series
  • UCS-6248 Fabric Interconnects
  • UCS-5108 Blade Chassis
    • B200 M2 Blade Servers
    • Palo mezzanine card
    • Emulex mezzanine card
  • Cisco Application Control Engine Appliance – ACE4710
  • Dual attached JBODs

Software Versions

  • NXOS v6.0(2) on Nexus 7000 Switches
  • NXOS v5.1(3) on Nexus 5000 Switches
  • NXOS v4.2(1) on Nexus 1000v
  • NXOS v5.2(2) on MDS 9222i Switches
  • UCS Software release 2.0(1x) for UCS-6248 Fabric Interconnect
  • Software Release A5(1.0) for ACE 4710
  • Cisco Data Center Manager software v5.2(2)

CCIE Data Center Written Exam Topics (518)<–click for the PDF

  • Describe the Cisco Data Center Architecture
  • Describe the products used in the Cisco Data Center Architecture
  • Describe Cisco unified I/O solution in access layer
  • Determine which platform to select for use in the data center different layers

Cisco Data Center Infrastructure—NX-OS

  • Describe NX-OS features
    Describe the architecture of NX-OS
    Describe NX-OS Process Recovery
    Describe NX-OS Supervisor Redundancy
    Describe NX-OS Systems file management
    Describe Virtual Output Queuing (VoQ)
    Describe Virtual Device Contexts
    Configure and Troubleshoot VDCs
    Describe fabric extension via the nexus family
  • Design and implement NX-OS Layer 2 and Layer 3 functionality
    Describe VLANs
    Describe PVLANs
    Describe Spanning-Tree Protocols
    Describe Port-Channels and Virtual Port Channels
    Compare and contrast VPC options
    Describe basic features of routing protocols in a data center environment
    Implement jumbo frames end-to-end in a data center
    Describe FabricPath
    Describe VRF lite in a data center environment
    Validate configurations and troubleshoot problems and failures using command line, show and debug commands.
  • Describe Multicast
    Describe Multicast Operation in a data center environment
    Describe Basic PIM configuration
    Describe IGMP operation and configuration on the Nexus Platform
    Validate Configurations and troubleshoot problems and failures using command line, show and debug commands
  • Describe basic NX-OS Security features
    AAA Services
    RBAC, SSH, and SNMPv3
    Control Plane Protection and Hardware Rate Limiting
    IP ACLs, MAC ACLs, and VLAN ACLs
    Port Security
    DHCP Snooping, Dynamic ARP Inspection, and IP Source Guard
    Validate configurations and troubleshoot problems and failures using command line, show and debug commands
  • Implement NX-OS high availability features
    Describe First-Hop Routing Protocols
    Describe Graceful Restart and nonstop forwarding
    Describe OTV
    Describe the ISSU process
    Validate configurations and troubleshoot problems and failures using command line, show and debug commands
  • Implement NX-OS management
    Describe DCNM LAN features
    Implement SPAN and ERSPAN
    Implement embedded Ethernet analyzer and Netflow
    Describe XML for network management and monitoring
    Describe SNMP for network management and monitoring
    Describe Implement Embedded Event Management
    Describe configuration management in Data Center Network Manager
    Describe Smart Call Home
    Detail connectivity and credentials required for Data Center Network Manager
    Validate configurations and troubleshoot problems and failures using command line, show and debug commands

Cisco Storage Networking

  • Describe Standard-based SAN Protocols
    Describe Fiber Channel Standards and protocols
    Describe SCSI standards and protocols
    Describe iSCSI standards and protocols
    Describe FCIP standards and protocols
  • Implement Fiber Channel Protocols features
    Describe Port Channel, ISL, trunking and VSANs
    Design basic and enhanced zoning
    Describe FC domain parameters
    Describe Cisco Fabric services and benefits
    Design and implement proper oversubscription in an FC environment
    Validate proper configuration of FC storage based solutions
  • Implement IP Storage based solution
    Implement FC over IP (FCIP)
    Describe iSCSI and its features
    Validate proper configuration of IP Storage based solutions
  • Design and describe NX-OS Unified Fabric features
    Describe Fiber Channel features in the NX-OS environment
    Describe Fiber Channel over Ethernet Protocol and technology
    Design and implement data center bridging protocol and lossless Ethernet
    Design and implement QoS features
    Describe NPV and NPIV features in a Unified Fabric environment
    Describe FCoE NPV features
    Describe Unified Fabric Switch different modes of operations
    Describe multihop FCoE
    Describe and configure universal ports
    Validate configurations and troubleshoot problems and failures using command line, show and debug commands
  • Design high availability features in a standalone server environment
    Describe server-side high availability in the Cisco Unified I/O environment
    Describe Converged Network Adapter used in FCoE topologies
    Configuring NIC teaming
  • Implement SAN management
    Describe Device Manager for element management
    Describe configuration management in Data Center Network Manager
    Describe connectivity and credentials required for DCNM-SAN
    Describe how to monitor and trend utilization with DCNM Dashboard

Cisco Data Center Virtualization

  • Implement Data Center Virtualization with Nexus1000v
    Describe the Cisco Nexus1000v and its role in a virtual server network environment
    Describe Virtual Ethernet Module (VEM) on Nexus1000v
    Describe Virtual Supervisor Module (VSM)
    Describe the Cisco Nexus 1010 physical appliance and components
    Describe Port Profiles and use cases in Nexus1000v
    Describe QoS, Traffic Flow and IGMP Snooping in Nexus1000v
    Describe Network monitoring on Nexus1000v
    Explain the benefits of DHCP snooping in a VDI environment
    Describe how to intercept traffic using Vpath and its benefits
    Describe and implement Nexus1000v port channels
    Describe Virtual Service Domain
    Validate configurations and troubleshoot problems and failures using command line, show and debug commands

Cisco Unified Computing

  • Unified Computing System components and architecture
    Describe Cisco Unified Computing System components and architecture
    Describe the Cisco Unified Computing server deployment and implementation model
    Describe Cisco UCS Management features
    Describe Cisco UCS Connectivity from both LAN and SAN perspective
    Describe Cisco UCS High Availability
    Describe what the capability catalog is and how it is used
    Describe Cisco UCS C Series Integration
    Describe the functional differences between physical and virtual adaptors
  • Describe LAN connectivity in a Cisco Unified Computing environment
    Describe Fabric Interconnect for LAN connectivity
    Implement server and uplink ports
    Describe End Host Mode
    Implement Ethernet Switching Mode
    Implement VLANs and port channels
    Implement Pinning and PIN groups
    Describe Disjoint Layer 2 and design consideration
    Describe Quality of Service (QoS) options and configuration restrictions
    Design and verify scalable Cisco Unified computing systems
  • Describe Implement SAN connectivity in a Cisco Unified Computing environment
    Describe Fabric Interconnect for SAN connectivity
    Describe End Host Mode
    Implement NPIV
    Implement FC Switch mode
    Implement FC ports for SAN connectivity
    Implement Virtual HBA (vHBA)
    Implement VSANs
    Implement SAN port channels
    Describe and implement direct attach Storage connectivity options
    Describe and implement FC trunking and SAN pinning
  • Describe Cisco Unified Computing Server resources
    Describe Service Profiles in Cisco UCS including templates and contrast with cloning
    Describe Server Resource Pools
    Implement updating and initial templates
    Describe Boot From remote storage
    Detail best practices for creating pooled objects
    Explain how to use the Cisco UCS KVM with Vmedia and session management
    Describe local disk options and configuration protection
    Describe power control policies and their effects
  • Describe role-based Access Control Management Groups
    Understand Cisco UCS Management Hierarchy using ORG and RBAC
    Describe roles and privileges
    Implement integrated authentication
  • Cisco Unified Computing troubleshooting and maintenance
    Understand backup and restore procedures in a unified computing environment
    Manage high availability in a Cisco Unified Computing environment
    Describe monitoring and analysis of system events
    Implement External Management Protocols
    Analyze statistical information
    Understand Cisco Unified Computing components system upgrade procedure
    Describe how to manage BIOS settings
    Describe memory extension technology

Cisco Application Networking Services—ANS

  • Data center application high availability and load balancing
    Describe standard ACE features for load balancing
    Describe different Server Load Balancing Algorithm
    Describe health monitoring and use cases
    Describe Layer 7 load balancing
    Describe sticky connections
    Understand SSL offload in SLB environment
    Describe Protocol Optimization
    Describe Route Health Injection (RHI)
    Describe Server load balancing Virtual Context and HA
    Describe Server load balancing management options
  • Global load balancing
    Describe basic DNS resolution process
    Describe the benefits of the Cisco Global Load Balancing Solution
    Describe how the Cisco Global Load Balancing Solution integrate with local Cisco load balancers
    Implement a Cisco Global Load Balancing Solution into an existing network infrastructure

CCIE Data Center Lab Exam Topics (571)<– click for the PDF

Cisco Data Center Infrastructure – NXOS

  • Implement NXOS L2 functionality
    Implement VLANs and PVLANs
    Implement Spanning-Tree Protocols
    Implement Port-Channels
    Implement Unidirectional Link Detection (UDLD)
    Implement Fabric Extension via the Nexus family
  • Implement NXOS L3 functionality
    Implement Basic EIGRP in Data Center Environment
    Implement Basic OSPF in Data Center Environment
    Implement BFD for Dynamic Routing protocols
    Implement ECMP
    Implement FabricPath
  • Implement Basic NXOS Security Features
    Implement AAA Services
    Implement SNMPv3
    Configure IP ACLs, MAC ACLs and VLAN ACLs
    Configure Port Security
    Configure DHCP Snooping
    Configure Dynamic ARP Inspection
    Configure IP Source Guard
    Configure Cisco TrustSec
  • Implement NXOS High Availability Features
    Implement First-Hop Routing Protocols
    Implement Graceful Restart
    Implement nonstop forwarding
    Implement Port-channels
    Implement vPC and VPC+
    Implement Overlay Transport Protocol (OTV)
  • Implement NXOS Management
    Implement SPAN and ERSPAN
    Implement NetFlow
    Implement Smart Call Home
    Manage System Files
    Implement NTP, PTP
    Configure and Verify DCNM Functionality
  • NXOS Troubleshooting
    Utilize SPAN, ERSPAN and EthAnalyzer to troubleshoot a Cisco Nexus problem
    Utilize NetFlow to troubleshoot a Cisco Nexus problem
    Given an OTV problem, identify the problem and potential fix
    Given a VDC problem, identify the problem and potential fix
    Given a vPC problem, identify the problem and potential fix
    Given an Layer 2 problem, identify the problem and potential fix
    Given an Layer 3 problem, identify the problem and potential fix
    Given a multicast problem, identify the problem and potential fix
    Given a FabricPath problem, identify the problem and potential fix
    Given a Unified Fabric problem, identify the problem and potential fix

Cisco Storage Networking

  • Implement Fiber Channel Protocols Features
    Implement Port Channel, ISL and Trunking
    Implement VSANs
    Implement Basic and Enhanced Zoning
    Implement FC Domain Parameters
    Implement Fiber Channel Security Features
    Implement Proper Oversubscription in an FC environment
  • Implement IP Storage Based Solution
    Implement IP Features including high availability
    Implement iSCSI including advanced features
    Implement SAN Extension tuner
    Implement FCIP and Security Features
    Implement iSCSI security features
    Validate proper configuration of IP Storage based solutions
  • Implement NXOS Unified Fabric Features
    Implement basic FC in NXOS environment
    Implement Fiber channel over Ethernet (FCoE)
    Implement NPV and NPIV features
    Implement Unified Fabric Switch different modes of operation
    Implement QoS Features
    Implement FCoE NPV features
    Implement multihop FCoE
    Validate Configurations and Troubleshoot problems and failures using Command Line, show and debug commands.

Cisco Data Center Virtualization

  • Manage Data Center Virtualization with Nexus1000v
    Implement QoS, Traffic Flow and IGMP Snooping
    Implement Network monitoring on Nexus 1000v
    Implement n1kv portchannels
    Troubleshoot Nexus 1000V in a virtual environment
    Configure VLANs
    Configure PortProfiles
  • Implement Nexus1000v Security Features
    DHCP Snooping
    Dynamic ARP Inspection
    IP Source Guard
    Port Security
    Access Control Lists
    Private VLANs
    Configuring Private VLANs

Cisco Unified Computing

  • Implement LAN Connectivity in a Unified Computing Environment
    Configure different Port types
    Implement Ethernet end Host Mode
    Implement VLANs and Port Channels.
    Implement Pinning and PIN Groups
    Implement Disjoint Layer 2
  • Implement SAN Connectivity in a Unified Computing Environment
    Implement FC ports for SAN Connectivity
    Implement VSANs
    Implement FC Port Channels
    Implement FC Trunking and SAN pinning
  • Implement Unified Computing Server Resources
    Create and Implement Service Profiles
    Create and Implement Policies
    Create and Implement Server Resource Pools
    Implement Updating and Initial Templates
    Implement Boot From remote storage
    Implement Fabric Failover
  • Implement UCS Management tasks
    Implement Unified Computing Management Hierarchy using ORG and RBAC
    Configure RBAC Groups
    Configure Remote RBAC Configuration
    Configure Roles and Privileges
    Create and Configure Users
    Implement Backup and restore procedures in a unified computing environment
    Implement system wide policies
  • Unified Computing Troubleshooting and Maintenance
    Manage High Availability in a Unified Computing environment
    Configure Monitoring and analysis of system events
    Implement External Management Protocols
    Collect Statistical Information
    Firmware management
    Collect TAC specific information
    Implement Server recovery tasks

Cisco Application Networking Services – ANS

  • Implement Data Center application high availability and load balancing
    Implement standard ACE features for load balancing
    Configuring Server Load Balancing Algorithm
    Configure different SLB deployment modes
    Implement Health Monitoring
    Configure Sticky Connections
    Implement Server load balancing in HA mode